The Bowen Technique and MS
The idea of a deep tissue massage was frightening. I wondered if there was a modality of body work that was especially good for MS. An internet search revealed something called Bowen Technique. I had never heard of it so I dismissed it, thinking I would never find a practitioner in my area. A few months later, while sitting in a Starbucks, I glanced at a community bulletin board. Lo and behold, there was a pamphlet for Bowen Techinque. Ok Universe, I get the message. Shortly thereafter, I was lying on a table and fellow Pinkie Kate Deriso was introducing me to this powerful healing technique.
What is Bowen Technique?
Bowen Technique, also known as Bowenwork, is a modality of body work comprised of gentle yet powerful moves across muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, and peripheral nerves that stimulate the body to heal itself. Bowenwork addresses the entire body as a whole to restore balance and health through the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
Bowenwork helps shift the ANS from sympathetic (i.e., fight or flight) to parasympathetic dominance (i.e., resting, relaxing, and repairing). The ANS is responsible for over 80% of our bodily functions. Unfortunately, we spend the majority of our lives in the highly stressed, over-stimulated “fight or flight” mode. Bowenwork enables the body to shift from “fight or flight”, to the parasympathetic mode where the body can relax, rest, and repair itself.
A typical Bowenwork session lasts from 20 – 45 minutes. You usually lie on a massage table and the moves are performed, even through light clothing. There are pauses between each move where the practitioner leaves the room so the body and the nervous system have an opportunity to adjust the tension level in the muscles. It is such a slow moving and relaxing technique that I often fall asleep.
Can Bowen Technique Help Me?
Bowenwork can provide long lasting relief from pain and discomfort. It can improve the body’s mobility, relax muscles and tendons, and stimulate the body’s intake of oxygen and nutrients. It has been known to help those with chronic pain, frozen shoulder, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, sports injury, tmj, headaches/migraines, stress and anxiety, tendonitis, sciatica, depression, fibromyalgia, among other things.
Sound too good to be true? I admittedly went in with low expectations. I know not every self care tool works for every person. I also know there are many out there claiming to help or cure the chronically ill. So I went in with a healthy skepticism.
My experience was profound. I walked in to my first session with tingling in my left hand and foot (my more common MS symptom). I left an hour later with no tingling. It did return a few days later, but after five sessions, the tingling wasn’t coming back except in the most stressful circumstances. During another session, I came to Kate with cold feet that would not warm up no matter how thick my socks. A few adjustments to the adrenals and warmth return to my feet instanteously. But most profound has been how Bowenwork has helped me manage my fatigue. Admittedly, not every symptom has been banished, but with regular tune-ups, Bowenwork is helping me live a normal, vital and active life. It is a valued part of my toolbox.
Is body work in your radical self care tool box? What modality? Tell us how it has helped you reclaim or maintain your mojo.
With vital wellness and love,
Tags: The Bowen Technique & MS
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